Stuff to do in summer

Stuff to do in summer

Hi everyone.

I made a list years ago of things to do in summer. We posted it to our refrigerator so that if any child came to me saying, “I’m bored; I have nothing to do,” I could simply point a silent finger at the door and they would know to scan the list before asking for any more ideas. Usually, they found something.

The key to using la liste is making sure that you have the supplies already stocked up in your house. Don’t put “oil pastels” as an option if you haven’t bought them. Make sure everything that they may want to do, can be done.

Before I post the list, here are a few ideas to consider as well:

  1. Create an art table that houses markers, paintbrushes, watercolors, glue (of varying styles), paper, pipe cleaners, string, tape, staplers, scrapbooking pages and so on. (We use tin cans from beans etc. to hold the paintbrushes or markers.) Purchase colorful clay to bake into novel items.
  2. Make a nature station which includes binoculars, birding guides, seeds, trowels, and a cheap digital camera for photo ops (when the squirrels fight or you see a cool caterpillar).
  3. Tune up bicycles (air in tires, brakes that work), purchase a badminton set or croquet, collect water guns and pool toys.

All right, without further ado:

Here’s the list!

  • Paint
  • Make play-doh
  • Create a collage
  • Take a walk
  • Swing
  • Climb a tree
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Read a magazine
  • Legos
  • Playmobiles (or whatever toys you have that your kids love)
  • Reorganize your bedroom (moving furniture around)
  • Sew
  • Learn a new recipe
  • Hammer nails into scrap wood (for some reason, this is always satisfying)
  • Jump rope
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Fill the wading pool and splash
  • Shoot each other with water guns
  • Blow bubbles
  • Sidewalk chalk the driveway
  • Inventory the house (count windows, steps, pillows, door knobs, mirrors, paintings, photographs) Use a clipboard to record findings.
  • Write a poem
  • Make a phone call to grandma
  • Email Dad/Mom at work
  • Play a board game
  • Make a picnic under a tree
  • Lie on your back and look at clouds
  • Watch a movie
  • Play a video game
  • Create fairy houses with twigs, moss, leaves, acorns. Make fairies out of scrap fabric, pipe cleaners and wooden beads.
  • Create shoe box houses for little dolls
  • Catch tadpoles (in a local stream)
  • Catch fireflies in a jam jar
  • Do something for someone else (vacuum a room, empty the dishwasher, fold clean clothes)
  • Sort clothes that are too small and give to charity
  • Alphabetize the spices in the spice cabinet
  • Learn to do a cartwheel
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Play HORSE with the basketball
  • Play jacks
  • Play pick up sticks
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Dress up in dress up clothes
  • Face paint
  • Draw with oil pastels or charcoal
  • Roast hotdogs in an open fire; make s’mores
  • Collect wild flowers for a centerpiece at dinner
  • Memorize riddles, poems, rhymes
  • Act out a favorite play or story
  • Polish nails
  • Rub on temporary tattoos
  • Learn to braid hair
  • Make a fort in the living room
  • Study a tide pool (if you’re lucky enough to live near one!)

Please add to the list in the comments section! I’m sure you’ll have ideas I haven’t included.

Brave Writer Online Writing Class Nature Journaling


9 Responses to “Stuff to do in summer”

  1. Lucy says:

    My four year old and eight year old went to the driving range with their father yesterday. Now, in addition to going back there to practice their golf swing, they want to practice putting in the living room! Playing frisbee and playing catch (with a softball mitt and a tennis ball) is another one of my favorite activities during the summer months!

  2. Laura says:

    Great list and great idea, to post it. I will add: Sit around talking about whatever comes up; get up early enough to hear the birds start their day; make huge messy breakfasts; check out every Tintin and Calvin & Hobbes the library has, all at once; make jewelry/cookies/flower bouquets/whatever for friends & neighbors and deliver them secretly; set up a mailbox and write notes to each other; make real lemonade; eat a tomato right off the plant.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    We have two headings up on our chalkboard: People To See and Things To Do. My girls add to the list as they think of things they want to do with a more open summer schedule. The people list are those friends that we normally can’t see as much during the school year. The to do list is stuff they want to do. My oldest put “make apple pie.” My youngest’s contribution is for us to join our local classical station’s “club.” These two lists really help me because now they aren’t mentioning the items to me with the expectation that I’m going to remember and make them happen 🙂

  4. Cindy K. says:

    I love this idea! I think we should start the same thing! Thanks for the idea!

  5. Julie Bogart says:

    These are great ideas! Keep adding! I love the “Make an apple pie” – how simple and perfect. I find that in summer, it’s too easy to flip on the TV all the time or to fall into ruts. Having a list helps jog us out of a malaise.

    Good work ladies!

  6. Kristen says:

    Love the list! We’re doing a ‘project’ a week around here … my son received a simple chemistry set for Christmas, so that’s been one week, and my vast childhood Lego collection is another project … my mom just gave me a kids’ root beer making kit for my birthday, so that’s another one the kids are begging to do. It’s been fun to make the time for these fun and messy projects that we just don’t get to during the school year.

  7. Ellie says:

    They should put swimming in here.

  8. Kelly says:

    Hi Julie and others-

    Don’t know if you’ll get this comment here, but I am up late (it’s 2:21) and was browsing through the archives. Love this list. Can you please make one for fall/winter???? My 9 year old son and I are moving to Vancouver (BC) to take care of my terminally ill mother for an indeterminate amount of time and I would love all the suggestions I can get of things to do with him or suggest for him to do on his own. I’m burnt out and really very tired, and utterly unimaginative at this point.

    Many thanks!


  9. I hope you get the chance to do all of this. Keep us posted!